The day I flew across the world
From one foreign land to another
Little did I know
From that day onward
I will forever be a foreigner
 
Some days I wish
I could travel back in time
To console the restless heart
That will travel for more than a decade
In search of a home
And fall short upon arrival
No matter the destination
 
These words
Are for the Sun who burns so bright
She never sees the flowers that bloom
From her warmth
 
The importance of staying
In touch with one’s roots
Comes often with age
Your surroundings will snip and crop
Parts of your culture without your permission
In these parts, you are nothing but
Costumes and performance art
Sometimes this land only knows to appropriate
While fostering nothing else
 
Therefore,
 
Immerse
Absorb
Engross
 
In the place you came from
To make up for years
Lost on pretending
You belonged somewhere else
 
And when they call you too much
Too “woke”, too sensitive
Feel free to remind them
 
Your entire upbringing
Has been an extremity
The last breath of energy
Used to greet loved ones
The last bite of food
Shared or fought over
The last dime spent on basic necessities
 
You are a first-generation immigrant
No wonder you feel in extremes
 
And if you are still made to feel small
Let your presence be the largest
When you re silenced
Let your voice be the loudest
When you are left behind
Let your strides be the longest
When you are so inevitably marginalized
Demand they notice you
And when you do, be proudest
 
And when you return to the motherland
Awestruck, you will wonder
How you have walked this earth
Without having walked the grounds
Where your feet were meant to be planted
The green greener
The flowers more pigmented
The wind more fragrant
The soil more fertile
The monsoon more cleansing
The women with bright marigolds in their hair
The warmth that surpasses language
And the aura
More like home
 
But your course hasn’t been steady
All you want is to contort yourself
In ways that’ll allow you to fit in
But your soul is too untamed
For a Eurocentric mold
And don’t you ever mistake
“What are you?” for comfort
For it will always be a microaggression
And you – always a foreigner
In another foreigner’s perception
But one day you’ll fall in love with
Having emerged from a world of enigma
Where only you belong
ওগো বিদেশিনী
Lady foreigner
You’re a mystical concept
An inspiration behind Tagore’s famous song
If you give it a listen
You, too, will be caught in a daydream
And the word foreigner will radiate your aura
And take a whole new meaning
You’ll be so enamored with the beauty
In your own origin
You’ll forever have the word foreigner
Etched on your soul
And sometimes
You might even have it inked on your skin
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